Print and Political Cartoons are heavily associated with the Reformation. It fueled the balance of the Protestant Cause. For the Protestants, Print was a very impactful way of opposing the Church and State power.
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It was used to spread ideas, beliefs, spread the word of God and build public opinion. Martin Luther was a very important part of the Protestant Reformation. He was a German Monk who became the most influential and controversial person of Christianity. He opposed the Catholic Church and made it know to the general public. He gathered many followers and was backed up by his people. He criticized the Roman Catholic Church and wanted the word of God to dictate affairs and not the Pope. This created a rift that separated the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants. However, Print was not only used by the Protestants. The Roman Catholics made use of it to counter the exposure of its own corruption. One Major Political Cartoon they created was the Seven Headed Luther. This Political Cartoon appeared in the early 1520s.
A very famous cartoon it was the title page of the Pamphlet written by Johann Cochleus. This was a shot at the Protestants Martin Luther. They Represented Luther as the dragon of the apocalypse or as an AntiChrist mentioned in the Bible. The creator of this Political Cartoon is thought to be a man by the name of Hans Brosamer. The seven heads had symbols and meanings and they aren’t just there for no reason. They are a Doctor, shown by the head with a doctor’s cap. A saint shown by the head of a monk. an unfaithful or infidal which could be referring to the turks which Western Europe lived in constant fear of invasion. a priest who preaches what the mob wants to hear. a fanatic with his hair surrounded by hornets. A church supervisor thought to be a new office reviving old laws. And Barrabas, the robber released by pilate instead of Christ, thought to be the wild german man with a club.Luther is shown as reading a book that is as diverse as the seven heads. This hit the protestants hard and gave the catholics the upper hand of the propaganda war at the time. People from the Catholic Church viewed Luther as a antichrist and proclaimed him to be a sign of the apocalypse. The audience of this political cartoon are the Protestants and their followers. This cartoon was created to counter propaganda attacks from Luther and his followers, and in response of Hans Brosamer and the Catholic Church , they decided to put out this piece. This Political Cartoon makes an effective image, however, it does not have the creative brilliance of the one made against the Catholic Church. Another reason that this cartoon was released was to protect the Catholic church and to establish security and boundaries. Also to take a stance against the Protestant Reformation and to oppose of it.
This information is accurate because it was released to the general public in a woodcut piece and spread throughout the cities. It may not be an accurate description of Luther and is over the top to call someone an Antichrist, however the catholic church viewed Luther as that way. This Political Cartoon is unique because it had deep symbols and was directly targeted at Luther. The Creator of this political cartoon must have took a while to develop this piece and was really determined. It was unique because the Protestants were not expecting this kind of response and outright harsh propaganda. This Cartoon tells me that there was a time of conflict and contradiction in the Protestant Reformation. Luther and his followers were facing a giant Catholic Church and would have to be at their best if they wanted to separate from the catholic church. This cartoon showed me that the war of propaganda was fierce and the protestants really opposed the Catholic Pope. Their belief is God over a man, that god and his books should rule the people and not a man who benefits wealth and praise when he should not.
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